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December 26, 2014
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Building a new house is always an adventure, and for Paul Plumadore and Jim Tindell of Milanville, PA building their home on River Road has been the adventure of a lifetime.

Country dog, lucky dog!

When Pip and I moved here last summer, the first thing we both noted is that we don’t need to “walk” our dogs anymore. Nope! Living as we do in the middle of nowhere, it’s as easy as opening the door and letting them roam. Mind you, I keep one eye on them as they walk about the property. NYC had many things but not coyotes or bears (the West Village notwithstanding). It also has subways, and often I would take my dogs to work with me, riding on the subway. Well, that is until I saw that my dog Willy looked so stressed out being on the subway, albeit safely tucked into my oversized attaché.  Read more

Knotweed out of control: What’s a homeowner to do?

Knotweed is more than a nuisance. It’s an epidemic in these parts. Dense stands of this noxious, invasive species crowd along roadsides and waterways, affecting ecosystems by pushing out native plants and limiting plant and animal species diversity. Along streams and rivers, it overwhelms native plants that help stabilize riverbanks, increasing the risk of erosion and flooding.  Read more

Do-it-yourself solar

Do-it-yourself (DIY) solar systems are starting to pop up across northeast Pennsylvania, after a series of free public forums hosted by the non-profit group Sustainable Energy Education and Development Support (SEEDS). SEEDS held a series of three workshops in April 2013, plus another session over two evenings in June this year. More than 40 people attended each session to learn how to self-install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on their homes.  Read more

Joncy Bennett’s wabi-sabi life; A work in progress

Joncy Bennett’s home/studio is a study in wabi-sabi, the Japanese aesthetic devoted to the acceptance of imperfection and impermanence. It is hard to ignore the contrast between the skilled perfection of his handmade furniture and the modest aesthetic of his home in Callicoon Center, NY.  Read more

Build a root cellar; For storing root vegetables long into fall and winter

Up from Michael Denman’s self-dug pond, on his land in Grahamsville, NY, a great blue heron swoops low in an attempt to pilfer his brown trout before it recognizes the humans below, abandons its landing and disappears into the woods. We follow a trail around the water, trod many times by his daughter and her horse, Oreo, over to the chicken coop and up stone steps to a gate and arbor overflowing with a massive trumpet vine that leads into the Denmans’ terraced gardens.  Read more

Two Parts Dirt

A cigarette hangs from her lips; the burnt ash refuses to drop and she squints to protect her pale cornflower blue eyes from the smoke that rises behind her large frame plastic glasses. Wearing polyester pants with a button-up floral print shirt in a coordinating color, her shoulders slightly stooped, she moves with purpose and crosses the narrow kitchen. Feet encased in practical slip-on loafers complete the ensemble and are a required part of being dressed for the day.  Read more

Dirt

“Politics is an organized, publically sanctioned amplification of the infantile itch to always have one’s own way.”
— Tom Robbins, “What Is Art and If We Know What Art Is, What Is Politics?”

DNA tends to hold sway,
in spite of goodness, Thomas J.
Alex Hamilton redressed his vows
through dallies with a lady’s wows.
A miracle dwelt in Grover C.
admitting extra paternity.  Read more

Getting Into August

July 27th
the Universe’s longest day
I feel it

will this day never end I asked myself
Uranus
I reply  Read more

Humboldt County, 1972

Excerpted from: “717 Hemlock Street: The Empiricist Conversation from Locke to Gödel,” a novel by Tommy Saxophone

John and I sat on the porch on attached movie theater seats John had rescued from an old East Bay movie theater just prior to its demolition. From tall glasses we drank hot coffee sweetened with condensed milk. John pointed west, towards a hilltop in the distance.  Read more

Beneath the Soil

Pick up a newspaper, turn on the t.v.,
look at the mirror of our lives:
another newborn thrown in a garbage can,
another bomb blown by the terrorist hand,
listen to the radio, listen to the streets
of humanity trapped in rush hour, choking
on the fumes of violence, choking on fear,
gagging on racial tensions, gagging on hate,
reeling from war to war, staggering ever closer
to our own destruction,
there seems to be no way out, and yet...  Read more

Dirt 9x

I’m talking about Dirt.
Clean Dirt.
Dirt you smell,
Loving the aroma.
Dirt you get under your fingernails,
And don’t mind going to bed with.
I’m talking about farm Dirt.
Nature’s Dirt.
Unadulterated, unprocessed, Unfiltered Dirt.
Dirt that is a home for
Worms, insects, roots and vegetables.
Dirt that makes me,
Smile.

Early Morning

I walk early in the morning
at first light, the sun in promise.
I move into the world a blank slate,
listen to the sounds
aware of the smells
open to the surprises
of the awakening earth
joining the scene of a leftover dream.  Read more

Moondust in the Loam

I am back, in a field
with freshly stirred dirt
back in the dirt that sustains me
Between rocks and earth,
my toes feel the moon inside
When in the end we fall
and are scattered deep enough,
we know we are a part of it.

Black Gold

The earth had settled after brewing for ages,
simmering down to a rich, black soil ready to draw
the very best from seed placed within its shallow furrows.
They stretched like rows on a chenille bedspread toward the horizon.  Read more

Mud is the New Little Black Dress

When I established full-time residency in this rustic rural area nearly five years ago, I didn’t take into account all four seasons. My lifelong acquaintance with Sullivan County never existed outside the summer familial retreat where we focused on boats, swimming, asiatic milfoil, waterskiing, kayaking and sunbathing. In other words, I was a typical cidiot visiting two months a year.

Needless to say, my first winter here was brutal. I lamented then, and come to think of it, the subsequent four winters, “Why didn’t anyone warn me?”  Read more

I Am Not a Gardener

I am not a gardener but every spring when I lived in suburbia
I purchased flats of pansies, marigolds and impatiens.
Impatiens thrived through the entire season,
had little luck with pansies, but I loved
how they twisted and turned toward the sun.
I was good about picking off dead blooms,
enjoyed the gold and orange marigolds long into fall.  Read more

Summer

Vision.
Plan.
Decisions—flowers, tree,
how, when, where.  Read more

DIRT

As you dig
More and more
A variety of things
Is in there galore  Read more

Life

till, sow, weed, harvest
hands gloriously dirty
tending life

Grow (a haiku)

With the patience of
Water, seed, soil and my love ~
Is that a stem, Sun?